Archive for July, 2012

Do You Think of Necco As ‘Old People Candy’?

Image courtesy of Necco.com

While there will always be candies that appeal more to one age group than another, and candies that have a near universal appeal for sweets-lovers ages 2 – 102 and beyond, I hadn’t really given much thought to ‘old people candy’ until I came across the following article on Boston.com – A squirrel mascot named Zipper is out to pitch Necco candy lines to young consumers.

The article highlights some marketing changes that Necco has in the works following an ad agency review with the Noonan Creative Group of Framingham. Their goal is to target “a younger demographic of candy lovers” and make them aware of their full lineup of treats to eat. When most of us hear “Necco,” those lovely little wafers come to mind, but they have plenty of other classic, popular sweets under their umbrella, including Mary Janes and Clark Bars.

According to the article, Necco will be harnessing the power of a cute mascot named Zipper (Squirrel Nut Zippers, another Necco candy, spawned the name.) Zipper will be a YouTube star, starring in videos where he “destroy(s) other candies and in doing so, accidentally creates new ones.” This little fella is also going to have his own website – as every star should! – WheresZipper.com. In short, the goal is to capture the attention of the media-savvy young folk, and with as much time as most of them spend online, the internet is the natural place to do just that.

While I wholeheartedly hope their new marketing avenues are a success, it did make me a little sad to think that kids aren’t already loving Necco. Sure, Necco wafers aren’t brightly packaged or decked out in comic book heroes, but I think they stand out on the candy shelf in their uniqueness and simplicity. Plus, they’re really good. I’m admittedly not a big fan of the chocolate ones, but the cinnamon, wintergreen and lemon especially more than make up for it!

What are your thoughts – do you think of Necco as ‘old people candy?’ And if so, do you think today’s youth would love them as much as many of us adults do if they were properly targeted?

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with Oodles of Terrific Toppings!

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month here in the good old US of A? It’s true! Wikipedia even confirms it, so you know it’s the real deal. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Ronald Reagan declared this month-long holiday in 1984, and went a step further to name the 3rd Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day. But I’m not reserving all my ice cream celebrating for one day. I will eat more than my fair share on Sunday indeed, but I’ll do it many others days, too. What can I say, I’m an overachiever!

One of my favorite things about eating ice cream, apart from the ice cream itself, of course, is experimenting with different toppings. I love all the basics, like peanuts and sprinkles, but I like to get a bit more adventurous from time to time. Below are some of the fun toppings I’ve used in the past, and one I have on my ‘must try’ list. I hope to move some of the ‘must tries’ to the ‘tried and loved’ list this month, and I don’t think that will be a tough task to tackle! I’ve included links for each if you want to order them online, but most are easy to find at the grocery store as well.

Chocolate Covered Banana Chips – I love a generous dose of these on vanilla ice cream and chocolate ice cream. Instead of choosing one or the other, I usually do a scoop or two of each and make it rain banana chips on top!

Crushed Potato Chips – This I love most on rich chocolate ice cream; the richer the better! I think they would also taste great on any ice cream with a chocolate base. All you have to do is put a few chips in a sandwich bag, crush them to your heart’s content, and shake the salty goodness on top of your ice cream. Just be sure to enjoy them quickly before they get soggy.

Gummy Peaches – Want to add even more fruit flavor to your black cherry ice cream, or rainbow sherbet? Gummy peaches and gummy melons are my top 2 picks! Just use caution if topping ice cream for the kiddos with these to be sure they know they still have to chew them even though they’re on ice cream. It might seem easy to remember, but one of my besties almost forgot and he’s closer to 50 than 5!

Popcorn and Caramel Sauce – This one I haven’t tried yet, but I came across it recently on Care2.com and it immediately got my taste buds excited. I think caramel drizzled popcorn sounds delicious on its own, too! I’ll have to keep that in mind for the next movie night.

Coffee Beans – Know what shares a big space in my heart right next to candy? Coffee. I like it hot, I love it cold, I adore it blended, and I can get lost in its smell. And when I snuggle up on the sofa with a bowl of coffee ice cream in hand, you can bet that I’ve tossed a few coffee or espresso beans on top for some added crunch, flavor and pep!

What are some of your favorite ice cream toppings? What’s the most unusual topping you’ve ever tried and loved – or think is best kept away from the ice cream bowl?

Capture the Spirit of Summer with Ring Pops!

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Whenever I see Ring Pops in the store, I’m always taken back for a few minutes to those 90s summer nights spent relaxing on the porch at my old house. While I wasn’t exactly a member of the target market for Ring Pops, I loved them at first lick, and would slip them as far down my finger as they would go before making my commitment to them. I always found that kind of funny about Ring Pops – you really did have to ‘marry them’ for a good twenty minutes or so, because once you stopped actively eating them they attracted every hair and fuzzy within 5 miles!

But it was that commitment that made them so special to me. I couldn’t multitask while enjoying a Ring Pop; I couldn’t put the dishes away or clean up the living room or do any of the other million things that always seem to need doing. I was forced to relax on my porch on a warm summer night, watching the neighbor kids play and just soaking up life. It’s sad that as adults we have to sometimes be backed into a corner to ‘just be,’ but I think it’s one of the most important things we can do.

As we properly settle into summer once again, I’m making myself a promise to have at least 2 ‘Ring Pop Nights’ each week. I will grab an icy drink, kick my feet up on the railing, and leave my cell phone inside. I will try to erase all the worries of the day and watch the kids play games and the neighbors walk their dogs and the cars pass by. I won’t get up from my seat until the only thing that remains on that plastic disk is the little nub that holds the Ring Pop on! And even then, I may just sit for a bit longer. 🙂

Want to celebrate Ring Pop Nights with me as well? Here’s a few places you can snag enough to last you all summer for a nice price…

OldTimeCandy.com – $.69 each/24 for $13.99

Amazon.com – 40 for $23.18

BlairCandy.com – 24 for $13.20

PartyCity.com – 10 for $4.99

The Dollar Tree – $1 for a 4-pack – If you order them online you have to buy at least 96 bags of 4 (that’s a lot of Ring Pops!), but if you live close to a Dollar Tree you can simply stop in and buy as many as you’d like. I’m not sure if they have them at every location, but my local Dollar Tree is a pretty reliable source for them.